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China to replace US as world’s largest apparel market by 2023

The United States apparel market stands at approximately 368 billion U.S. dollars as of 2019, whereas the apparel market of China is valued at  US$326,736m in 2020.

According to a forecast by Global Data, APAC markets have better survival chances than the apparel markets of countries in the US and Europe. The current pandemic has taken the entire apparel industry down, the forecasts suggest that it will wipe off US$297bn from the global apparel market in 2020, a 15.2 percent decline from 2019.

COVID-19 has made many big US retailers surrender and pushed them towards bankruptcy. The forecast further suggests that out of the total loss in the global apparel market, the major chunk (almost around 42%) would belong to the United States. APAC markets, on the other hand, would have a better scope of surviving and bouncing back. The forecast expects these markets which include China, India, South Korea among others would outdo the western countries by 2023. China, moreover, will replace the US to be the world’s largest apparel market.

As things slowly get back to normal, China has been doing unbelievingly well in the market, as the customers get back to the streets to indulge in retail therapy. Whereas, the US has witnessed a number of big retailers like JC Penny, Aldo, and Nieman Marcus file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Vijay Bhupathiraju, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Though the recovery has already started across the APAC markets, apparel sales will take some time to rebound amid dampened consumer confidence, the slump in tourism, the threat of an impending global recession and high unemployment rates.

“However, some of the lost sales will be compensated by the level of ‘revenge buying’ (sudden release of pent up demand from those willing and able to spend). Some brands across China for instance are seeing store sales return to 80-100 percent of pre-COVID-19 trading levels as the country relaxes lockdown measures.”


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